If you to J.I. Clements Stadium early, you’ve probably seen what Victor Roache can do with a bat in his hands.
The freshman Georgia Southern outfielder sends balls over the fence left and right during batting practice, and recently has solidified himself a spot in the lineup after bringing that power into the game.
Roache has scored five times and driven in 10 over the last four games, and in each of the last two contests, he hit a grand slam.
“You don’t get many opportunities with the bases loaded like that,” Roache said about his recent hot streak. “Two games in a row. When you try to hit a home run, more times than not it’s not going to happen, so I just try to go out and have a good at-bat with the bases loaded.”
The Eagles (23-19, 13-8 Southern Conference) had dropped four out of five heading into Tuesday’s game against Kennesaw State, and got just what they needed in the form of a 16-2 win to let off some steam before heading into today’s series against Furman.
“After having tough losses like that it was important that we came back and had a really good game, and that’s exactly what we did,” Roache said. “Our pitchers came in and pitched good, our hitters came and hit good, so it was an all-around good game.”
Another freshman also pled his case for a spot in the pitching rotation. Justin Hess had already earned a spot as a weekday starter, and Chris Myers, who entered the program as a catcher, got his first-career start on the mound against KSU pitching three strong innings and earning the win.
“Can’t get any better than that,” Myers said after Tuesday’s win. “I pitched about 60 innings my senior year (in high school), and the biggest transition from catching to pitching is just being able to throw your off-speed pitches for strikes. Coach (B.J.) Green has helped me a lot with my slider and my changeup and I think it’s getting better every day.”
The series against the Paladins (13-26, 5-13) starts with a doubleheader which begins today at noon. Furman is one of the teams at the bottom of the SoCon standings, and is playing with nothing to lose on the way to earning a postseason bid.
“Furman is always a tough team,” said GSU coach Rodney Hennon. “Right now they’re fighting for their lives to try to play their way into the (Southern Conference) tournament, so we’ve got to take care of our business and be ready to get after it.”
Matt Yogus can be reached at (912) 489-9408.